It’s not every day that police find an act of honesty committed in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, at the bottom of a bottle of scotch.
But that’s exactly what happened on March 19 this year after Edmund James Clinton Martin crashed his car while driving drunk in the Royal National Park.
There was no one around. He could have left the scene. But he chose to wait and face the consequences.
And his honest act may well have spared him a jail sentence.
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday said Martin was driving his Holden Commodore westbound on McKell Avenue around 1.10am when he lost control of the vehicle and collided collided with a tree.
The crash caused significant damage to the front near-side of his car.
Martin phoned the police to report the accident and waited for them to arrive.
Officers discovered Martin sitting in the passenger’s side of the vehicle when they turned up about 20 minutes later. Police immediately smelt alcohol wafting from Martin and said his speech was heavily slurred and his eyes were glazed.
Martin admitted ownership of an empty scotch bottle found sitting two metres away from the car.
When breath tested at the police station, Martin returned an alcohol reading of 0.222 – more than four times the legal limit.
He was charged with high-range drink-driving, to which he pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday.
Magistrate Peter Thompson ordered that Martin be assessed for an intensive corrections order, which if approved, would allow him to serve his sentence in the community.
The case returns to court on October 2.